Tired of incessant political intimidation, U.S. scientists speak out

Just our luck: the one time we went to the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union, the most exciting thing that happened was that geologist photocopying his rocks. But this year, headlines abound. Earlier this week at the event, the Union of Concerned Scientists issued a statement signed by more than 10,000 U.S. researchers protesting political interference in science. And yesterday, Al Gore materialized to urge scientists to address climate change and fend off political pressure. (Seriously, when does that guy sleep?) “Get involved, because so much is at stake,” he thundered, and was met with hoots and hollers. Also this week, U.S. Geological Survey scientists made noise about federal rules that require them to run reports and speeches past supervisors to make sure they meet (cue eerie music) agency standards. “I feel as though we’ve got someone looking over our shoulder at every damn thing we do,” said USGS marine biologist James Estes. “And to me that’s a very scary thing.”